Featured alt: A person carrying boxes.
One of the best things about packing by yourself is that you can get whatever packing supplies you see fit. You can opt for high-quality, top of the line ones if you are planning on buying a designer lamp or an antique item. Or you can choose to go the cheaper route and get more cost-effective ones. But, as it turns out, not a lot of people know how to save money on packing supplies without risking safety, and end up spending way more money than they originally planned. Well, to combat this unfortunate situation, let’s go over some must-know tips on cost-effective packing supplies.
Where to get cost-effective containers
The cost of your packing usually boils down to what containers you use. Sure, padding and wrapping supplies can cost a fair bit, if you don’t know how to handle them. But it is the packing containers that will be the biggest part of your bill. So, what you’ll need to focus on first is getting cost-effective containers. As you might have guessed, visiting your local DIY store or going to your local mover is easy, but it is hardly cost-effective. Even if the company is offering discounts or coupons. In order to save money on packing supplies, you need to go outside the box and get your containers in a less conventional way.
Free moving boxes
Now, is it actually possible to get free moving boxes? Well, as it turns out, yes! But, only if you start looking on time and know where you can find free moving boxes. Start off by visiting local stores and warehouses. Then ask them to save you some boxes from their deliveries. They usually end up discarding their boxes, so, in a way, you’ll be doing them a favor. Just keep in mind that it will take some time for them to save up enough boxes that are in good shape, so make sure to ask them ahead of time.
Some warehouses go through a lot of boxes within a week, so they should be able to save you some.
Alt: A warehouse with a lot of boxes.
If you plan on packing more heavy and/or fragile items, consider asking your local book store to save you some boxes. Since their shipments are usually quite heavy, they are forced to use better quality boxes. But, by the same token, they might be reusing them, and are therefore unwilling to give you some. Nevertheless, it will cost nothing to ask.
Renting plastic containers
Another way to deal with packing is to rent plastic containers. Not a lot of people are aware that this is an option. And those that are aware sometimes misconstrue it to be a non-eco friendly one. Well, as it turns out, renting plastic containers is a great way of using affordable but durable packing materials. Plastic containers can be reused hundreds if not thousands of times. Meanwhile, cardboard can be reused a couple of times at best. This makes plastic containers much less damaging to our environment, especially if they are made from eco-friendly plastic. Keep in mind though that plastic containers are only cost-effective if you use them for short-term packing.
Renting plastic containers is a great way to save money on packing supplies.
Alt: Four different colored plastic containers.
Save money on packing supplies with proper packing
Ok, so now that you have a better idea of where to get cost-effective containers, let us deal with the process of packing. Know that getting packing containers is a good start, but it isn’t enough. In order to truly save money, you need to organize your packing and deal with it properly.
How to organize
Before you start packing, we suggest that you make an inventory list. A well-made inventory list will give you a clear picture of what you need to pack. You will, therefore, know how many packing supplies you need to get and which padding and wrapping supplies you will need. This is a sure way to save money on packing supplies as you will get just the right amount. We suggest that you sort your items and organize them into packing groups. This will make labeling much easier later on, and your whole packing procedure much more efficient.
Cost-effective wrapping and padding
If you have a bunch of fragile items to pack, you will probably have to buy some wrapping and padding supplies, there’s no way around it. The only way to make it cheaper is to deal with couponing carefully and compare prices before you buy. But, if you don’t have a lot of fragile items to pack, you might get away with not buying any supplies. As it turns out, clothes make excellent wrapping and padding materials.
Clothes make excellent padding and wrapping supplies, especially if you use them properly.
Alt: A wool sweater wrapping around a ceramic cup.
Clothing items made of cotton are great for wrapping as they are gentle, inexpensive and they absorb moisture quite well. Woolen items, on the other hand, are perfectly suited for padding. They provide great protection from physical harm and even provide insulation. So, before you go shopping for wrapping and padding, go through your closet and see what you can use.
Mistakes to avoid
The final thing we would like to mention is some mistakes you should avoid. Namely, a lot of people risk the safety of their items in order to save money on packing supplies. This is a bad idea as you not only risk breaking your items, but you also risk hurting yourself. Safety should always be paramount. So, even when trying to save money, make sure to get proper quality packing supplies and employ proper packing procedures. Keep in mind that a single mishap can easily lead to a costly disaster.
Don’t put yourself or your items in needless risk by using subpar packing supplies.
Alt: Low-quality boxes you might get tempted to use in order to save money on packing supplies.
The last thing to remember is to always, always, always label your boxes once you are done with packing. If the content of the box is heavy and/or fragile, the person who handles it needs to be aware of it.
Author Bio: Angie Sims
Angie Sims used to work in the traveling industry for 6 years, and now she works in the relocation industry. For the last 3 years, she has been specializing in helping people with their domestic and international relocation. She is also a full-time mom and a part-time blog writer. From her own experiences, she writes about traveling and moving with children on her blog.